Release: 2011, Theatrical
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
IMDB Page: Link opens in a new window
Description: A young man works as a stunt driver and a mechanic. On the side he makes extra money as a getaway driver for criminals.
This is one of those movies that I had to force myself to sit through, Not because it's bad but because this is a very slow movie. You get the atmosphere of driving home in the dark, the radio only playing low beat music and everyone in the car being way too tired to tired to strike a conversation. Or if you're on your way home alone from a night out with friends, sitting in a mostly empty bus. That kind of feeling. I really couldn't explain it better than that.
Explanations are actually something this movie doesn't spend a lot of time on. If you don't pay attention, you might miss out on vital information. It takes the notion of show don't tell way too far in my opinion. It is indeed, not a movie for the masses. Relying heavily on it's soundtrack, on the lighting and the expressions on the characters. In that regard, this is actually a great movie. But alas, it is an art piece and not something I would recommend for the sake of mere entertainment. It would go well in a media classroom, or in front of someone who already has a vested interest in film.
There is something to be said for the plot though, it tries it best to go against conventions and be it's own thing. What at first seems like an artsy remake of Transporter turns out to have so much going for it. Again, if you're actually into movies as a vested interest instead of just idle entertainment. This I imagine, is a movie that's divided critics and the wide audience pretty clean cut. Of course, being more artsy than for general audiences isn't a failure. There a plenty of great movies that 'normal' people wouldn't give 5 minutes of their time. However, I feel that explaining away lack of entertainment value with "this is not for these certain types of people" would be me failing as a critic. Is it a good movie? Yes! It's great! Actually I would call it a modern masterpiece. But there is not much enjoyment to be found here, and that is a fault - intended audience be damned.